Many contemporary spiritual gurus are empire builders- creating a foundation for assisting the poor, promoting charity and works of goodwill to all persons.This is noble and good.
They are also master entrepreneurs- weaving educational, nutritional,and consumer health and wellness products into their marketplace of goods and services. They are Masters of creating abundance and yet representing a model of moderation, non-excessiveness, generosity, and integrity.
Of course they have character flaws, as everyone does, and this blog is intended to paint a realistic image of persons we should emulate and respect.
The danger lies in the intrinsic distraction which consumerism and consumption of material goods brings to the spiritual activity of ‘being’ in emptiness and non-permanence.
We need to be careful to disassociate with concepts, labels, goods, and trick-ponies which take us away from the essence of the teaching which is: being of service to Humanity, eliminating poverty consciousness, and spreading the teachings of Zen. The practice of life is not about buying books to find enlightenment and illumination through light-shows and bio-feedback machines. Yes, the teachings are important, and must be communicated, with reasonable profitability to sustain the production and lifestyle of the author: modestly and humbly.
In our essence of consciousness we are One, we are distanced from this reality of being by consumerism which takes us away from concentrating and focusing on our bodhisattva vows of assisting every member of Humanity reach enlightenment and freedom from samsara and suffering, and attachment to the material world. We must discern between the consumerist American lifestyle and dream of ‘always more’, and the eastern purist spiritual seeker stereotype who lives in simple modest lifestyle, with only two garments, eating one meal a day, and dreams of emptiness, detachment, and less.
It is this clinging to our delusion which is embodied in our material world from which we must awaken, and biofeedback machines with light shows are ‘perhaps’ a means to an end, however, one must realize that the ends don’t always justify the means.
The means must be holistic, pure, and self-sustaining. This is the keyword of the decade: self-sustaining, which in itself is a noble path and destination. However we must also maintain the discernment that we are what we consume, what we think, and what we believe. So it is important that we focus on purity of direction and intent without being distracted with unnecessary consumption. We must discern which tools we really need to achieve inner peacefulness, serenity, and be inspired into action, and performing acts of goodwill, with limited and finite resources. We must be conscious of the sustainability of our environment, transforming Nature to create abundance of a type which honours the values of regeneration, non-extinction, and promoting health and balance with Nature. It is important to marry science with spirituality to improve abundance and prosperity within the values of integrity, honesty, and compassion for all living beings and their environments.
The creation of abundance and prosperity for all is the honourable goal, however, as we all know, we can’t create abundance and prosperity without eliminating poverty consciousness first. The removal of ignorance and greed are the essential teachings which Humanity needs at this time. The creation of abundance for all Humanity will progress incrementally as Humanity rises from the ashes of its detachment of unnecessary consumerism and wasteful consumption.